August 8, 2015
Big Lake, MN
I have never participated in a small town triathlon before. All of my events have been Ironman or Lifetime series events. I honestly had no idea what to expect. To say that everything was a little more relaxed would be an understatement. Same day packet pickup…cool! But you did not need ID to check in (they just read my name off the waiver I had signed). There was no numbering on the bike, and nobody checking you out of transition (and I don’t think transition ever closed). There were very few buoys on the swim course (with small and hard to see turn buoys). But I bumped into a few athletes I know and they had some very nice door prizes.
Let’s just say that this was not a USAT sanctioned event…
Water temp was “around 80” and wasn’t even announced at the athlete briefing. There was no discussion about wetsuit legal, people just wore what they liked.
I went without a wetsuit (haven’t even tried the damn thing on this year).
The weather would be cool to start then warm up. The atmosphere was a little unstable. It would get windy at times. Pop-up showers were possible.
The Olympic athletes went first, then the sprinters. It was a beach wave start.
Mostly uneventful. The waves were smallish, but there was contact. I zigzagged a bit since the buoys were small. The 1/3 mile course was really about 1/2 mile long.
Swim Time – 15:08 (1:55/100 yards).
Uneventful, but slow.
T1 Time – 3:46.
Pancake flat course with nice wide shoulders. There were rumble strips most of the times, so passing could get tricky. That slowed be down occasionally. The course passed within a mile of my front door. Pretty cool!
Bike Time – 46:08 (18.8 mph)
T2 Time – 2:04.
It was getting warmer and muggier by this time, and I was starting to feel it. The course was a basic out and back along the lake. This too was pancake flat. There was a short section on grass at the beginning and end of the course. Otherwise, it was all on sidewalks.
Run Time – 27:42 (8:57/mile)
Overall Time – 1:34:47.
Overall, I was pretty happy with my splits (transitions were sluggish). Post race food was promised, but it was limited to fruit and cookies. Hamburgers and hot dogs were awailable for a fee. The t-shirt and medals were serviceable, but nothing special. I didn’t win a door prize (there were some nice ones…like a bike, race wheels, and a Garmin).
Overall, it was fun. The 5 minute commute from home was great. But the lack of supervision of our gear in transition is the deal breaker. Bikes are just too big of an investment to allow hundreds of them to just be sitting in an empty field.
Pleasantly surprised to see my bike split becoming my strongest discipline…